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Mars: Humanity’s Next Frontier

Is Mars Destined to be Humanity's Next Step?

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Mars: Humanity’s Next Frontier

Currently science fiction but this is what the terraforming process could look like.

Currently science fiction but this is what the terraforming process could look like.

Sean Long

Currently science fiction but this is what the terraforming process could look like.

Sean Long

Sean Long

Currently science fiction but this is what the terraforming process could look like.

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Mars is the closet celestial body to Earth. The red planet has garnered large interest in the scientific community.  Revolutionaries such as Elon Musk believe Earth is not humanity’s final destination as a species. He and others like him believe that the only way for humanity to outrun its own extinction is to leave Earth and colonize beyond the stars, but humanity has not developed a vessel faster than light to travel to another solar system.

Sean Long
The Moon the orbits our planet.

The Alpha Centauri star system is  the closet solar system to Sol, and  has a planet in the Goldie Locks Zone (which is what international space agencies call the zone which contains liquid water and is essential for the sustainability of life).But with 4.37 light years between Alpha Centauri and Earth, migration is out of reach.

Therefore, Mars is the only suitable planet that can support life and is in close proximity to Earth. Studies pertaining to the issue have indicated large quantities of ice on the red planet, which indicate the possible presence of microorganisms called extremophiles, which can live in extreme conditions.

If these microorganisms can sustain themselves  on Mars, why not humans? Some of the common objections raised are questions such as, why  not just stay on Earth? How costly would it be? Is it even worth it? Given the deterioration of our own planetary  situation, the only realistic conclusion is that otherworldly colonization is the only way forward for humanity, if  we don’t want to  risk extinction. As Jeff Bezos asserts, “We can’t be in survival mode. We have to be in growth mode”.

Sean Long
The night Sky and its infinite Expanse and the multiple distant stars.

 

Earth doesn’t have sufficient  natural materials such as oil, iron, gold, tungsten and sliver, to sustain current consumption,  however these resources can all be found on other planets and the many asteroids surrounding the Terrestrial Planets in our solar system. The overabundance of these materials could theoretically create the first trillionaire.

Humans are on track to eventually overpopulate the world,  food and other  resources needed  to support the projected number of 8.4 billion humans expected to inhabit the planet by the mid 2030’s and the 9.2 billion by 2050, are only going to be in shorter supply if we stay here.

Currently private companies appear to be more concerned about reaching Mars than our own world governments, possibly because  they would essentially have limited power on foreign territory. This is a potentially dangerous situation.The only way interstellar peace would be plausible between Mars and Earth is for the world’s Government to support colonization of Mars.

Alexia Alford watching the TV show mars as she prepares to watch the first colonists leave.

Companies like Space-X and Mars One have taken steps in the right direction to establish a permanent settlement on the planet.

The logical approach at the moment is to terraform Mars and introduce it as an agrarian planet where major industrial farming could take place. Terraforming is, it is  the process of adapting a planet’s living conditions for sustaining life.  Humans require a  nitrogen and oxygen based atmosphere, which at the moment, Mars can not support. We also need to have liquid water present on a planet to effectively thrive.

George Rosech, local science teacher from Lafayette High School, is a strong advocate for space colonization. “ Due to exponential population growth, the Colonization of Mars is a necessary thing or we will run out of living space on earth and the ability to sustain humanity within the next 30 years”, He  said, going  on to add  that entertainment mediums  like Mars and The Martian are beginning to normalize the idea of  human settlement of the planet.  “It’s not a  question of if, but  a when and how” he insists .

Sean Long
Closer than any other star system Alpha Centauri is the only known location to support life at the moment besides Earth.

Lisa Wathen, an English teacher at Lafayette High School, disagrees.“Colonizing Mars is not a necessity but something worth doing for the sake of doing it”. She further added, “Mars is not a viable option at the moment to help with over population of earth.”

Clearly ,the colonization of Mars is an idea worth exploring. As Founder and CEO of Space-X Elon Musk said ” I would like to die on Mars, but not on impact.”

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Mars: Humanity’s Next Frontier